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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:24 PM   #1
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How to tape a Food TV video?

Hello everyone, I am planning on taping a "food tv" sort of a video with my friends.
Two friends will prepare the ingredients, pots, and all that good stuff and come up with a meal.

I like to tape this from start to end like what they do in food tv. Something that we can cherish when we get older. :)

I will be using a tripod for filming. I have never done a "food tv" videotaping and like to get some tips and help. I will have only one dv camcorder during the shot.

1) Do I tape the cooking from start to finish in one shot (not stopping)?

2) Or do I record the ingredient preparation and the entire procedures first and then record the cooks pretending to be cooking at a later that I can cut and edit the two tapes and make it look more interesting?

I will do cut/editing after the taping at a later date. I like to do this right and make it a bit enjoyable for future viewing.
And as you can see, I have no idea on how to approach this simple project. Thanks in advance!
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Old October 5th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #2
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Hello Kevin,
Caveat: I have never personally produced such a piece, so take my remarks for what they may be worth, if anything.

I have, however, watched many such pieces being shot. All of the shows I've watched were taped as the food was actually being prepared in front of an audience. That is, there were no retakes or cuts. All of the shows were shot with two cameras; one locked down on a frontal shot and the other alternating between handheld and locked-down. Watching the resulting shows produced from this technique, it appeared that the "A" camera tended to be the frontal lock-down, with cut-aways of hand/ingredient/reaction close-ups coming from the handheld.

Sounds like a fun project!
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Old October 6th, 2004, 01:35 AM   #3
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Here's a setup I photographed of a cooking show being taped for PBS. It's not a set. It's a real kitchen in someone's house.

There were three cameras. One suspended above the counter for the overhead view, one on a dolly in front of the talent, and one more off to the side.

All three sent signals to three decks in a makeshift control room, and the show was edited in post, not cut live.

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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:15 AM   #4
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I have never worked on a cooking show but have worked on demonstrations of hand crafts and similar things for childrens tv programmes. In fact have been doing that all day today.

We do as a previous reply said. We have three cams. One above pointing directly down. Two in front. One on either a wide shot or mcu, (medium close up) the other on a close up. We have two cam operators to work the three cams.

We shoot the sequence through in managable sections capturing a live mix. We then go back and reinact parts to be edited in later. To speed things up we have several versions of the same thing in various stages of completion. This means you don't have to hang around waiting for paint to dry or something to cook as you can move onto the next stage with another example already prepared.

In your case with one cam you may have to reinact each sequence over several times from three or more different angles. As to how many times is dependant on how professional you want your production to look. Take shots close and wide angle
from above and the front. Take mcu and wide from the front of the demonstrator speaking as they do it. You can use pre or post recorded voice overs to describe what's going on.
Most of all. Do have fun and don't do as we have done, eat the props before you have finished shooting.

Lighting is something you have to watch as shadows can cause a problem. also audio needs to be handled correctly especially when using noisy utencils.

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Old October 6th, 2004, 02:39 AM   #5
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I've shot food items as multi-cam and single.
Since you'll be shooting single, you might like to try to shoot in manageable stages. Plan every sequence. Start with the preparation of ingedients. You can control your presenters, so there's no reason why you can't stop and start as needed. Get plenty of cutaways of their reactions. You can even run a sync piece on faces describing what they're doing and shoot cutaways later to match. It's going to be much easier for you since you can stop and start - not like it could be in a public demonstration.
Above all, they're working to a recipe - which is a form of script and repeatable, so you must have your own "recipe" as well ;-)

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Old October 6th, 2004, 05:07 AM   #6
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I once shot a short (5 min) food show, and I hope to do it again, this time with a real fluid head tripod. I also wish I had known the recipe ahead of time, so I could point the camera at the right thing!

A popular cooking show here in Spain is all done with one steadicam. Maybe thatīs an option for you?
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Old October 6th, 2004, 06:23 AM   #7
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There were three cameras. One suspended above the counter for the overhead view, one on a dolly in front of the talent, and one more off to the side.

trick to this is to actually have a mirror on a 45 degree angle above the chefs.

I do quite alot of training presentations and this is a good way of getting different angles without the need to reset camera locations.
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